AUSTRALIAN editor Kirk Baxter will get the chance for his second consecutive Academy Award after being nominated for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo early this morning Sydney time.
GALLERY: 2012 Oscar nominees
His work with Hollywood director David Fincher has been recognised for the third time in four years, with nominations for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a win for The Social Network last year and now another nomination for the tough Hollywood thriller, a remake of a Swedish film based on Stieg Larsson’s bestselling book.
Baxter, who grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches and now lives in Los Angeles, edits Fincher’s films with fellow nominee Angus Wall.
Also nominated - provisionally - was Australian producer Grant Hill for Terrence Malick’s epic The Tree of Life, which is one of nine best picture contenders. The recognition came with the rider ‘‘nominees to be determined’’, suggesting a dispute over credits.
Hill has been nominated previously for another Malick film, The Thin Red Line, in 1999.
A one-time executive producer of Steve Vizard's Tonight Live, he made his name as a producer and production manager of logistically complex, big-budget films with Titanic, later moving on to shoot the Matrix sequels in Sydney.
Martin Scorsese's 3D fantasy Hugo, about an orphan who lives in a Paris railway station, surprisingly led the Oscar nominations with 11.
The silent black-and-white French film The Artist, about a Hollywood star who struggles with the transition to the talkies, continued its triumphant way through Hollywood’s awards season with 10 nominations.
Under a new voting system that allows ‘‘five to 10’’ nominations for best picture, Hugo and The Artist are up against The Descendants, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Squeezed out were such well-regarded films as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Bridesmaids, Melancholia, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Drive.
Nominated for best director is the previously unknown French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names - Martin Scorsese for Hugo, Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, Alexander Payne for The Descendants and Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life. There were further surprises in both the best actor and actress fields.
Joining two of Hollywood’s biggest names, George Clooney for The Descendants and Brad Pitt for Moneyball, are Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and little-known Damian Bichir for A Better Life.
Meryl Streep, who has won universal acclaim for playing former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, is up against Viola Davis for The Help, Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn, Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs and, surprisingly, rising star Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ahead of the likes of Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin, Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene and Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia.
The best supporting actor field features three veterans – Christopher Plummer for Beginners, Nick Nolte for Warrior and Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – up against Kenneth Branagh for My Week With Marilyn and Jonah Hill for Moneyball.
The much less-well-known nominees for best supporting actress are Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain both for The Help, Berenice Bejo for The Artist, Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs and deadpan comic Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids.
Up for best adapted screenplay are The Descendants, Moneyball, Hugo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Ides of March, squeezing out The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Help.
The Iranian drama A Separation was a surprise - and rare foreign-language - nominee for best original screenplay alongside The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Margin Call and Bridesmaids.
With Happy Feet Two missing out as expected, the biggest surprises among the nominations came when The Adventures of Tintin was overlooked for best animated feature, presumably reflecting its production through motion capture rather than more conventional animation techniques. The nominees are Rango – the clear favourite - alongside Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2 and the little-known Chico and Rita and French-produced A Cat in Paris.
The brilliant Iranian drama A Separation leads the field for best foreign language film alongside Monsieur Lazhar from Canada, Footnote from Israel, In Darkness from Poland and Bullhead from Belgium.
The nominations were announced in Los Angeles by Academy President Tom Sherak and Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for best actress last year for her role in the drama Winter's Bone.